SAVOR YOUR FOOD
Do you eat fast? You are not alone. Try slowing down and you will see why you eat quickly and why it is challenging to stop. Savoring food is not as easy you think.
For people like us who have a history with excess dieting and then “cheating” on diets, it is a common habit to shovel food in. You are not alone.
According to a NCBI research study in Nutrients journal, eating speed has been associated with an increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular risk factors. Do not get nervous though — slowing down is possible!
We understand the emotional aspect of speed eating. One reason is this: if we are overeating, on some level we know that we are hurting ourselves. To witness hurt in slow motion it hurts even more. If we do it quickly, maybe we won’t even notice how much we are hurting ourselves. It is called shame eating. There is less accountability and shame if our food disappears in the blink of an eye!
Hey, we get it. Sometimes we simply might not have enough time to eat. If that is the case, we hope it is because you want to nourish your body and get on with your big beautiful life.
No matter what the reason, here is our suggestion: Slow it down. See how it feels. Savor it. We get to love the food that loves us back. We get to eat it with peace, calm and gratitude. We can feed ourselves without shame.
There are tons of books on the subject and one that we love is called Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. World-renowned Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and Harvard nutritionist Dr. Lilian Cheung note the many benefits to slowing down, eating mindfully and how to integrate the practice of mindfulness into eating. They say this: “Mindlessness is the opposite of mindfulness. We need to shine the light of mindfulness on everything we eat and do.”
Some practices to consider:
- Practice with a piece of citrus fruit and eat it in extremely slow motion, breathe deeply and chew slowly and mindfully.
- Count your chews. One common piece of advice is to chew your food an estimated 32 times before swallowing.
- Create a gratitude ritual before each meal by thanking the food for the nourishment and thank the hands of the people that grew it or packaged it.
- Sit down. Enough said.
- Put the fork down in between each bite.
- Set a timer to sit and savor the meal that was prepped so lovingly.
- Eat more meals with friends vs solo — or pretend someone is sitting across from you. Would you shovel it in so quickly if you were not solo?
- Put your phone down. We know — that is a big ask.
- TV too. Turn it off. I know, even bigger ask.
You can also start with drinking a cool glass of water more slowly.
If all of this seems challenging or controlling — simply raise your awareness and see if, in fact, you are racing against time with your food. Lovingly observe the pace of your eating— and slowly integrate some changes in acceleration! You may end up wanting to hit the brakes and eat more mindfully so you can enjoy the loving relationship with yourself and food that you so deserve.